Austin Butler’s touching tribute to Lisa Marie

Even after his most recent award-season victory, Austin Butler is still in grief for the late Lisa Marie Presley.

With Lisa Marie’s untimely passing at the age of 54 in January, Butler, 31, said his award for best actor in Elvis at the 2023 BAFTA Awards on Sunday came at a “bittersweet moment.”

After winning, Butler told reporters in the press room, “It’s been a truly unbelievably awful period, you know, and sorrow is a lengthy process,” according to Variety. “Thus, [the Presleys] were constantly in my heart and in my love.”

He continued, “I feel pleased to have been accepted into the family. The moment is “bittersweet.”

The actor discussed his fortunate in having the opportunity to portray Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis, for which he has since received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award, in conversation with reporters. The Oscars will be held in March.

Butler spoke of the experience of filming the movie, saying, “I miss the feeling of standing on an international stage, looking out, looking down at the jumpsuit that I was wearing, and realizing there were certain moments where I was seeing the closest thing to what Elvis would have seen during his ’68 Special or whatever that was. I long for the experience.

During a recent interview with PEOPLE at the 95th annual Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, the actor claimed that he and Lisa Marie “connected very, very rapidly.”

He continued, “And all those beautiful times just getting to share life with her, I’ll cherish that forever.

Keeping in mind Elvis Presley’s daughter as “There was no filter to how she felt since she was such an honest person, Butler stated. And she very quickly let me into her heart.”

A short time after the Oscar nominations were released on January 24, the actor went in to Today with Hoda and Jenna and described his nomination for the role as “kind of a bittersweet occasion right now” in light of Lisa Marie’s passing.

The actor stated, “I kind of wish she was here right now to get to celebrate with me. It’s kind of a bittersweet time right now.” The same way I felt about Elvis, I wished they could be present at these occasions.

Said he, “Simply put, celebrating during such a difficult time of loss seems odd. Yet, I consider it a way to honor her in some manner. She will get this.”